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Rūyān

(1,284 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, a district comprising the western half of Māzandarān [q. v.]. Iranian tradition. According to Darmesteter, Avesta, ii. 416, Rūyān corresponds to the mountain called Raodita (“reddish”) in Yas̲h̲t, 19, 2, and Rōyis̲h̲n-ōmand in Bundahis̲h̲n, xii. 2, 27 (transl. West, p. 34). Bīrūnī, Chronologie, ed. Sachau, p. 220, makes Rūyān the scene of the exploit of the archer Āris̲h̲ (cf. Ẓahīr al-Dīn, p. 18 [ Yas̲h̲t,8, 6, in this connection mentions the hill Aryō-xs̲h̲nθa]). In the letter addressed to the mobad Tansar by king *Gus̲h̲nasps̲h̲āh (iiird century a.d.?), the latter claims to b…

Lār

(2,283 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
1. Capital of the district of Lāristān, to the southeast of Fārs. Very little is known of Lāristān and its early history. The country appears to correspond to the land of the dragon Haftān-bōk̲h̲t which was killed by Ardas̲h̲īr Pāpakān. According to Persian legend, Ardas̲h̲īr’s adversary lived in the village of Alār in the rustāḳ of Kōd̲j̲arān which was one of the maritime rustāḳs ( rasātīḳ al-sīf) of the province Ardas̲h̲īr-Ḵh̲urra (Ṭabarī, i. 820); Nöldeke in his translation of the Kārnāmak (p. 50) gives the variants Gulār (?) and Kōčārān; the S̲h̲āh-nāme, ed. Mohl, v. 308: Kud̲j̲ār…

S̲h̲ūlistān

(1,668 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, “Country of the S̲h̲ūl’, a district ( bulūk) in the province of Fārs. Three epochs must be distinguished in the history of the district: one before the arrival of the S̲h̲ūl, the period of their rule (from the viith/xiiith centuries), and the period of its occupation by the Mamassanī Lūrs about the beginning of the xiith/xviiith century. During the Sāsānid period the district was included in the kūra of S̲h̲āpūr-k̲h̲ūra. The founding of its capital Nawbandagan (Nawband̲j̲ān) is attributed to S̲h̲āpūr I. This important town situated on the road from Fārs to Ḵh̲…

Laz

(2,446 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, a people of South Caucasian stock (Iberic, “Georgian”) now dwelling in the southeast corner of the shores of the Black Sea. The ancient history of the Laz is complicated by the uncertainty which reigns in the ethnical nomenclature of the Caucasus generally; the same names in the course of centuries are applied to différents units (or groups). The fact that the name Phasis was applied to the Rion, to the Čorok̲h̲ (the ancient Akampsis) and even to the sources of the Araxes also creates difficulties. The earliest Greek writers do not mention the Laz. The name Λαξοί, Λᾶξοι is only…

Warāmīn

(1,088 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
(or Warām, cf. Yāḳūt, Muʿd̲j̲am, iv. 918), a town about 40 miles (Yāḳūt, c. 30 mīl) S.S.W. of Ṭeherān, now the capital of the district of Ḵh̲wār-wa-Warāmīn. The plain of Warāmīn watered by canals trom the Ḏj̲ād̲j̲arūd is regarded as the granary of Ṭeherān. The town lies to the south of the great road from Raiy to Ḵh̲urāsān passing via Ḵh̲wār (near Ḳis̲h̲lāḳ?) and Simnān (cf. Ibn Ḵh̲urdād̲h̲bih, p. 22; only in the Mongol period did the road from Sulṭānīya to Ḵh̲urasān run via Raiy-Warāmīn-Ḵh̲wār: Nuzhat al-Ḳulūb, p. 173). On the other hand in the ninth and tenth centuries, Raiy wa…

Lankoran

(560 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
(Lenkoran), the capital of the district of the same name in the province of Bākū. Lankoran is the Russian pronunciation of the name which was at one time written Langar-kunān (anchorage), or perhaps Langar-kanān (place which pulls out the anchors) which is pronounced Länkärān in Persian and Lankōn in Tālig̲h̲ī The ships of the Bākū-Enzelī [q. v.] line call at Lankoran, which has an open roadstead but at 8 miles N. E. of the town is the island of Sarā, which has an excellent roadstead which shelters the ships in bad weather. In the district of Lankoran, de Morgan found monuments of very…

Sulṭānīya

(1,295 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, a town in Persian ʿIrāḳ, about ten miles west of the watershed between the Zand̲j̲ān [q. v.], which runs to the Ḳi̊zi̊l-Üzän and the Abhar, which loses itself in the direction of Ṭeherān. The old Persian name of the canton of Sulṭānīya was S̲h̲āhrūyāz. It was originally a dependency of Ḳazwīn. The Mongols called this district Ḳung̲h̲ur-ölöng (“the prairie of the Alezans”: there is still a village called “Öläng” S.E. of Sulṭānīya). Sulṭānīya is about 5,000-5,500 feet above sea-level. The coolne…

Wān

(2,087 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, a town in Turkey on the Armenian plateau on the eastern shore of Lake Wān. The name Wān is not found in the Arabic sources which deal with the Muslim conquest. Lake Wān is usually named by the Arabs after the towns on the northern shore, Ard̲j̲īs̲h̲ and Ak̲h̲lāṭ. Ibn Ḥawḳal alone (p. 250) mentions the Artsrunid Ibn Dairānī, lord of Zawazān, of Wān and Wosṭān. Yāḳūt, iv. 895, mentions a fortress of Wān but makes it a dependency of Erzerum and locates it between Ak̲h̲lāṭ and Tiflis (?). For the Muslim conquest of Armenia see that article. The important fact is the campaign of Bug̲h̲ā…

Uzbek

(1,902 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
(Özbek) b. Muḥammad Pahlawān b. Ildegiz (Eldigüz?), fifth and last atābek of Ād̲h̲arbāid̲j̲ān (607—622 = 1210—1225). According to Yāḳūt, Uzbek’s laḳab was Muẓaffar al-Dīn. His mother and that of his elder brother Abū Bakr were slaves, while the two other sons of Pahlawān, Ḳutlug̲h̲-Inanč and Amīrmīrān, were born of the princess Inanč-Ḵh̲ātūn. Uzbek married Malika-Ḵh̲ātūn, wife of the last Sald̲j̲ūḳ Sulṭān Tug̲h̲ri̊l II, by whom he had a son (Ṭug̲h̲ri̊l). Like all the reigns in periods of transition, Uzbek’s was a very troubled one. Before his accession to the thro…

Luristān

(3,348 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, “land of the Lurs”, a region in the S.W. of Persia. In the Mongol period the terms “Great Lur” and “Little Lur” roughly covered all the lands inhabited by Lur tribes. Since the Ṣafawid period, the lands of the Great Lur have been distinguished by the names of Kūh-Gīlū and Bak̲h̲tiyārī. At the beginning of the xviiith century the Mamasani confederation occupied the old S̲h̲ulistān [q. v.] and thus created a third Lur territory between Kūh-Gīlū and S̲h̲īrāz. It is however only since the xvith century that Lur-i Kūčik [q. v.] has been known as Luristān (for greater precision it w…

Bābā Ṭāhir

(3,559 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, a mystic and poet who wrote in a Persian dialect. According to Riḍā Ḳulī Ḵh̲ān (xixth century), who does not give his source, Bābā Ṭāhir lived in the period of Dailamī rule and died in 401 (1010). Among his quatrains there is an enigmatical one: “I am that sea ( baḥr) which entered into a vase; that point which entered into the letter. In each alf (“thousand”, i. e. of years?) arises an alif-ḳadd (a man upright in stature like the letter alif). I am the alif-ḳadd who has come in this alf”. Mahdī Ḵh̲ān in the J. A. S. Bengal has given an extremely curious interpretation of this quatrain: the letters alf-ḳ…

Saḳḳiz

(120 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, a town and district in Persian Kurdistān, administered sometimes from Senne, sometimes from Tabrīz and situated on the upper Ḏj̲ag̲h̲ātū east of Bāne. The inhabitants are Kurds (Mukrī). In religion they are S̲h̲āfiʿī Sunnīs; there are also adepts of the Naḳs̲h̲bandī S̲h̲aik̲h̲s. The family of local Ḵh̲āns is related to that of the Wālīs of Ardilān. The town has 1200 houses, 2 mosques, a bazaar, etc. The district (with its dependency Mīrede) comprises 360 villages. According to the census of 1296 a. h., there were 34,024 people in the district. The government taxes amounted t…

ʿOmar K̲h̲aiyām

(4,341 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
famous Persian scientist and poet of the Sald̲j̲ūḳ period (d. in 526 = 1132). Biography. Although reliable information on Ḵh̲aiyām is still scarce we cannot underestimate the importance of the sources at present available. In his Algebra he calls himself Abu ’l-Fatḥ ʿOmar b. Ibrāhīm al-Ḵh̲aiyāmī and in his verses seems to use Ḵh̲aiyām (“tent-maker”) as his tak̲h̲alluṣ. It is likely that this nickname refers to the profession of his ancestors. W. Litten, in his pamphlet Was bedeutet Chajjām? Warum hat O. Chajjām... gerade diesen Dichternamen gewählt?, Berlin 1930 (25 p.), has sugg…

Tāt

(3,338 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
(Tat), a Turkish word, meaning “the foreign elements included in the lands of the Turks” (Thomsen). 1. The term has a rather complicated history. Its occurrence in the Ork̲h̲on inscriptions (viiith century) was first noticed by Vambéry ( Noten su d. alttürk. Inschriften Mém. Soc.Finno-Ougr, xii., Helsingfors 1899, p. 88—89). Thomsen ( Turcica, ibid., xxxvii., 1916, p. 15) proposed to translate the words on oḳ og̲h̲liña tatiña tägi, “up to the sons of the Ten Arrows (r= The Western Turks) and their tāt (= their subjects of foreign origin)”. Thomsen passes over the question of …

Sīsar

(1,107 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, a town in Persian Kurdistān, bounded by Hamadān, Dīnawar and Ād̲h̲arbāid̲j̲ān. The Arab geographers place Sīsar on the Dīnawar-Marāg̲h̲a road 20—22 farsak̲h̲s (3 stages) north of Dīnawar (Ibn Ḵh̲urdād̲h̲bih, p. 119—121; Ḳudāma, p. 212; Muḳaddasī, p. 382). According to Balād̲h̲urī (ed. de Goeje, p. 310), Sīsar occupied a depression ( k̲h̲ifāḍ) surrounded by 30 mounds, whence its Persian name “30 summits”. For greater accuracy it was called Sīsar of Ṣadk̲h̲āniya ( wakāna Sīsar tudʿā Sīsar Ṣadk̲h̲āniya) which Balād̲h̲urī correctly explains as Sīsar of the hundred springs: Ḵh̲ānī in…

Tūs

(6,789 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
(original Iranian form Tōs, in Arabic transcription Ṭūs), a district in Ḵh̲urāsān. In the historical period Tūs was the name of a district containing several towns. The town of Nawḳān flourished down to the end of the third (ninth) century. The form Nawḳan < Nōḳan is confirmed by the present name of the Mes̲h̲hed quarter Noug̲h̲ān (where the dipthong ou corresponds to the old wāw-i mad̲j̲hūl, i. e. ō). At a later date, the other town Ṭābarān became more important and was considerably extended so that the original Ṭābarān seems to have become one of the faubourgs…

Sāwa

(1,970 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V. | H. H. Schaeder]
(older Sāwad̲j̲), a town and district in Central Persia. It lies on the direct road from Ḳazwīn to Ḳum (Ḳazwīn-Sāwa: 22 farsak̲h̲; Sāwa-Ḳum: 9 farsak̲h̲). This road practically corresponds with the royal road (S̲h̲āhrāh) described by Mustawfī (Sūmg̲h̲ān [?] -Sagzābād-Sāwa-Iṣfāhān) which was very important when, under the Mongols Arg̲h̲ūn and Uld̲j̲aitū, Sulṭānīya became the capital of Persia. The Ḳazwīn-Sāwa road may yet again resume its old importance for traffic between North Persia and the sou…

S̲h̲ug̲h̲nān

(1,882 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
(S̲h̲ig̲h̲nān), a district on the upper Oxus (Pand̲j̲); the part on the left bank now belongs to Afg̲h̲ān Badak̲h̲s̲h̲ān [q. v.] and that on the right to the Russian Pamir. The districts of G̲h̲ārān and Rōs̲h̲ān, the one above and the other below S̲h̲ug̲h̲nān are also divided into two by the political frontier. Afg̲h̲ān S̲h̲ug̲h̲nān has fifteen villages with four hundred houses and six thousand inhabitants, its administrative centre is at Yāwurda in the little valley of Udyar. Russian S̲h̲ug̲h̲n…

Lak

(983 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, 1. the most southern group of Kurd tribes in Persia. According to Zain al-ʿĀbidīn their name (Lāk, often Lākk) is explained by the Persian word läk (100,000) which is said to have been the original number of families of Lak. The group is of importance as the Zand dynasty arose from it. The Lak now living in Northern Lūristān are sometimes confused with the Lūr (Zain al-ʿĀbidīn), whom they resemble from the somatic and ethnical point of view. The facts of history however show that the Lak have immigrated to their presen…

Sipihr

(551 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, “celestial sphere”, nom de plume ( tak̲h̲alluṣ) of the Persian historian and man ofletters, Mīrzā Muḥammad Taḳī of Kās̲h̲ān. After a studious youth spent in his native town he settled definitely in Ṭihrān, where he found a patron in the poet-laureate ( malik al-s̲h̲uʿarāʾ) of Fatḥ ʿAlī Ḵh̲ān. On his accession (1250 = 1834) Muḥammad S̲h̲āh appointed him his private panegyrist ( maddāḥ-i k̲h̲āṣṣa) and secretary and accountant in the treasury ( muns̲h̲ī wa-mustawfī-i dīwān). The same S̲h̲āh entrusted him with the composition of a universal history. Nāṣir al-Dīn S̲h̲āh a…
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